The post of U.S. Commissioner dates back to 1793, when Congress authorized U.S. Circuit Courts to appoint “discreet persons learned in the law” to take bail. With the passage of the 1850 Fugitive Slave Law, Congress granted commissioners new powers to determine the fate of fugitive slaves.

More than 300 U.S. Commissioners were in office throughout the period of the law’s operation (1850-1864), though only a select few actually handled fugitive cases. At present, no comprehensive list of commissioners operating under the 1850 law exists. The names below represent a working list, which will be modified accordingly as this thesis project progresses. Names in bold signify commissioners who handled fugitive cases.

Alabama:

  • R.B. Owen

Arkansas:

  • J.B. Ogden

California:

  • W.H. Cheevers
  • J.E. Gryme
  • H.C. Hyde
  • George Pendleton Johnston
  • H.B. Jones
  • C. McAllister
  • G.L. Mix
  • J.J. Papy
  • A.M. Schell
  • A.S. Tayler
  • J.O. Wheeler
  • J.B. Williams

Colorado Territory:

  • W.P. Bacon
  • W. Larimer
  • P.P. Wilcox

Connecticut:

  • A. Blackman
  • J.C. Comstock
  • F. Fellower
  • Charles R. Ingersoll
  • D.W. Pardee
  • W.D. Shipman
  • Erastus Smith

Delaware:

District of Columbia:

Florida:

  • Winer Bethel
  • E.A. Perry

Georgia:

  • M. Myers

Illinois:

Indiana:

  • C. Craft
  • Edwin A. Davis
  • Reginald H. Hall
  • John Moore
  • H.C. Newcomb
  • H.B. Payne
  • John H. Rea
  • T.J. Sample
  • W. Sullivan
  • W.S.H. Taylor

Iowa:

  • S.E. Brown
  • A.C. Dillon
  • George Frazee
  • J.L. Harvey
  • A. Humphreys
  • J.M. McKinley
  • G.L. Nightingale
  • J.N. Rogers
  • S. Silbley
  • A.L. Walling
  • W.G. Woodward

Kansas:

  • C.G. Aiken
  • A.N. Blacklidge
  • D.J. Brewer
  • H.A. Burgess
  • F.A. Callahan
  • W.T. Gallaher
  • J.P. Greer
  • P.S. Post
  • W. Roy
  • J.F. Todd
  • A. Wiley
  • H.K. Wood

Kentucky:

  • R.A. Athey
  • A.J. Ballard
  • C.J. Clark
  • J.G. Haswell
  • H.F. Middleton
  • J.F. Ward

Louisiana:

  • M.M. Cohen
  • W. Cornelius
  • J.W. Gurley
  • W.H. Hunt
  • R.M. Lusher

Massachusetts:

  • George Ticknor Curtis
  • J.P. Curtis, jr.
  • A.S. Cushman
  • C. Demond
  • W.S. Dexter
  • G.D. Guild
  • H.L. Hazlett
  • George Hilliard
  • C.W. Loring
  • Edward Greely Loring
  • Elias Marvin
  • E. Mervin
  • Charles Wesley Tuttle (1860-)
  • Sidney Webster (1858-1860)
  • C.L. Woodbury

Maryland:

  • John Hanan
  • A.S. Ridgely
  • W.F. Watson

Maine:

  • Joseph Carr
  • W.H. Clifford
  • E.H. Davis
  • T.A. Deblois
  • A. Hayden
  • George Herbert
  • E.B. Jackson
  • J.M. Messerve
  • John Rand
  • J.S. Rowe
  • C.W. Waterman

Michigan:

  • W. Ashley, jr.
  • G.G. Buell
  • G.S. Clapp
  • G.A. Coe
  • J.M. Edwards
  • G.A. Graves
  • G.W. Hoffman
  • Charles Jewett
  • G. Kingsley
  • A.A. Knapper
  • H.R. Lovell
  • A. Mandell
  • G.A. Mason
  • John McNeil
  • S.D. Miller
  • W.W. Mitchell
  • J.H. Parish
  • G.L. Parsons
  • J.H. Stockton
  • G.B. Turner
  • J. Van Ransalear
  • W.L. Webber
  • W.D. Wilkins

Minnesota:

  • C.S. Bryant
  • J.N. Cardazo
  • J.H. Carey
  • E. St. J. Cox
  • S.B. Garvie
  • J.J. Noah
  • G.G. Ripley
  • J.A. Willard

Missouri:

  • A.W. Alexander
  • B.F. Hickman
  • J.M. Krum
  • N. McDonald
  • J.C. Moody
  • G.T. White

North Carolina:

  • P. Adams
  • Q. Busbee
  • B.G. Graham

Nebraska:

  • D. Gantt
  • Isaac S. Gibbs
  • J.M. Parker
  • C.W. Troy
  • J.M. Woolworth

New Hampshire:

  • W.L. Foster
  • W.H.Y. Hackett
  • Ralph Metcalf
  • Horace Webster

New Jersey:

  • J.M. Cassady
  • J.P. Vroom
  • John Whitehead
  • James Wilson

New York:

  • Miles Beach
  • G.M. Beckworth
  • G.F. Betts
  • A.A. Boyce
  • J. Brigham
  • J.L. Carroll
  • J.L. Clark
  • A. Conkling
  • G.B. Dusenberne
  • L. Farrar
  • W. Frothingham
  • Alexander Gardiner (1845-1851)
  • Charles M. Hall
  • J.B. Harvey
  • Orlando Hastings
  • R.J. Hilton
  • T.M. Howell
  • O.K.A. Hutchinson
  • G.E. Isbell
  • H.S. Johnson
  • L. Kip
  • John Lampert
  • G.W. Morell
  • George W. Morton
  • J.W. Nelson
  • A.P. Nichols
  • J.A. Osborn
  • P.G. Parker
  • Alberts Perry
  • W.C. Ruger
  • J.F. Sabine
  • W.H. Shumway
  • Henry K. Smith
  • R.E. Stillwell
  • W.C. Storrs
  • C.O. Tappan
  • B. Thompson
  • K.G. White

Ohio:

  • E. Adams
  • J. Adams
  • W. Baker
  • W.H. Baldwin
  • S.R. Bonenitz
  • Charles C. Brown
  • H. Carey, jr.
  • Samuel S. Carpenter
  • Sterne Chittenden
  • J.D. Cleveland
  • J. Cochran
  • D.H. Dodge
  • C.M. Dorr
  • W. Dunbar
  • J. Fitch
  • G.W. Frost
  • J.C. Grannis
  • F. Halliday
  • C. Hayden
  • John F. Hoy
  • G.M. Lee
  • J.J. Manor
  • E.R. Marshall
  • W.M. Meek
  • J.T. Mott
  • Edward R. Newhall
  • J.F. Oliver
  • J.R. Osborne
  • Richard C. Parsons (1852-)
  • John L. Pendery (1853-1857)
  • J.L. Perry
  • Thomas Powell
  • G. Sanderson
  • Charles Stetson (-1852)
  • J.H. Smith
  • G.W. Trost
  • W.W. Warden
  • Bushnell C. White
  • P.B. Wilcox
  • D.H. Young

Pennsylvania:

Rhode Island:

  • T.S. Anthony
  • Charles Hart
  • J.H. Parsons
  • S.W. Peckham
  • J.L. Pitman
  • J.S. Pitman

South Carolina:

  • G.W. Eggleston
  • R.C. Gilchrist
  • H.Y. Gray

Tennessee:

  • J.L. Bostick
  • William Lowry
  • J.A. McMurry

Texas:

  • J.C. Fowler
  • F.J. Parker
  • J.A. Settle

Virginia:

  • H. Forbes
  • J.T. Francis
  • Nathan Goff
  • L. Haymond
  • J. McCally
  • J.H. Pendleton
  • D.S. Purnel
  • J.S. Wheat
  • J.C. Wheeler

Vermont:

  • R.N. Clark
  • C.N. Davenport
  • H.L. Hallett
  • Robert Pierpont
  • N.T. Sheafe
  • Royal Tyler

Washington Territory:

  • E.S. Dyer
  • N.D. Hill
  • H.W. McGill
  • J.J.H. Von Bokhelen
  • R.M. Walker

Wisconsin:

  • F. Bloodgood
  • J.B. Brunson
  • J.H. Clary
  • James Hutchinson
  • J. LaDue
  • W. Merrill
  • S.O. Payne
  • J.A. Savage, jr.
  • Winfield Smith
  • J.G. Townsend